Storm chasers! Teeny, tiny, carbon fiber, storm chasers. Also known as UAV’s, which is ALSO known as, unmanned aerial vehicles. These tiny disposable drones were created to venture where no man is safe venturing, like through a hurricane.
Down south at the University of Florida, some folks teamed up and developed these small UAV’s that can withstand the dangers of certain situations that no human could. At around $250 per drone, this is actually considered a reasonably cheap price and it can get even cheaper once produced in bulk. The drones, just six inches long and weigh about an ounce, are encased in a very thin carbon fiber shell. The carbon fiber shell is so resilient, that during the testing of the drones, they were told to crash rather than land safely. Even at just one ounce, the drones are able to withstand hurricane force winds.
Professor Kamran Mohseni leads the research team down at the University of Florida and he controls the UAV’s with the help of his laptop.
“The team uses mathematical models to figure out the best place for the drones to be, then power them off. Once the weather picks up, the drones are powered on, and the monitoring begins. The drones focus on just about everything required in order to predict the strength and trajectory of a hurricane, from atmospheric pressure to temperature.”
As of now the drones have yet to experience a real life hurricane but the team expects that to happen within the next couple of years. Exciting stuff!
[Source: Extreme Tech]